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Move over, BlackBerry thumb: Mouse Rage Syndrome is the hot new geek ailment

Evan Blass

Anyone who's ever used a web browser for more than five minutes knows the crippling frustration that can result from bad site design, slow load times, and worst of all, the dreaded 404. And unless you're an individual of Gandhi-like patience and restraint -- which we most certainly are not -- you've probably found yourself physically abusing your pricey hardware on more than one occasion; whomever invented the wireless mouse didn't take into account how convenient the little rodents are to hurl across the room. Well you may have thought that pounding your keyboard, kicking your desktop, or spitting at your monitor (we're guilty, guilty, and unfortunately, guilty) made you some kind of rageaholic, so you'll be relieved to learn of a recent study that suggests you're far from alone on this one; in fact, so many of the 2,500 test subjects exhibited profuse sweating, rapid heartbeat, and uncontrollable screaming when presented with craptastic web pages, that researchers from the UK's Social Issues Research Centre even gave the phenomenon a name: Mouse Rage Syndrome. Normally we'd write off such "ailments" as silly pseudoscience -- after all, we were able to wait several minutes for pages to load back in the old dial-up days without going all postal on our rigs -- but apparently the symptoms of MRS can lead to lasting physical effects in terms of cardio, nervous, and immune system functionality. Not very surprisingly, the study was commissioned by Rackspace Managed Hosting, whose managing director warns that "businesses need to provide simple and easy-to-navigate layouts, whilst focusing on speed and uptime" in order to minimize incidents of MRS among their customers. Now, how in the world could a company possibly achieve such lofty goals? We're not totally sure, but we'll bet that the good folks at Rackspace Managed Hosting have a few ideas....

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